Talking with Tengu: Emma Partlow

Welcome back to the new series of Talking with Tengu, where we interview members of the Magic community and content creators to find out more about them and why they do what they do. Last series was a blast, and I was keen to get underway with a new selection of guests. It took a while to arrange, but we have some great content creators lined up for you all this time around. For the first guest in the series, we will be interviewing Hipsters of the Coast writer and Modern aficionado, Emma Partlow. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to the questions.

So, first question. What was the first deck that you ever built? Why did you build it?

When I first entered into Magic, I purchased the Heroes vs Monsters Duel Deck on a recommendation from a friend. The Heroes half grabbed me immediately, as cards such as Sun Titan and Figure of Destiny looked really cool. From this Duel Deck, I built a Boros Aggro/Burn deck over time with a top end of Blasphemous Act alongside Boros Reckoner. It became an entertaining FNM deck for a very long time and I want to revisit it at some point in Modern.

Can’t wait to see your take on that. What is your favourite set or block? And why did you like it so much?

Khans of Tarkir. Perhaps nostalgia more than anything as it was the latest set when I first started, but I found the Limited format to be phenomenal. There was so much depth, and there were so many ways to build decks outside of the Khans themselves; plus, who doesn’t like forcing Morph nonsense with Ponyback Brigade?

Ponyback Brigade

I’m guessing we all know the answer to this, but do you have a favourite format? What is it you like about it?

Unsurprisingly, it’s Modern. Although I played Limited and Standard when I first started, I really respect the ‘future-proofing’ that a format such as Modern offers. Modern can be tricky to get into as the format is defined on playing what you enjoy, and finding that deck can be difficult to begin with. Once you find ‘that deck’, it’s so much fun, and you’ll be rewarded for putting in those reps and knowing the format. Modern is the most popular constructed format for a reason; there’s so much to choose from and you’re never bored!

What made you want to become a content creator?

It was a happy accident! I wrote about Eldrazi Tron on my blog a few years ago as I was playing the deck and wanted to share my thoughts and theories. Sharing information is the reason I wanted to pursue writing seriously. Writing about a format such as Modern is great as the content is limitless and there’s so much to learn about it. We can all become better players if we share and listen to others’ thoughts and opinions, regardless of the success players have had previously.

For you, what is the hardest part of being a content creator?

Being consistent. Building an audience is a critical component in growing your content and being consistent allows that. In addition, you have to be honest with yourself. Even if you create content once or twice a week, it’s important to release that content the same day every week or bi-weekly. Admittedly this can be a challenge with work, family, and other responsibilities; hence why it’s important to not over-extend yourself when putting out content. It’s far more important to release content consistently than create content in random bursts. Having a routine is a big deal, not just for you, but for your audience too.

Fascist Art Director

What are your goals as a content creator? What would you like to achieve?

I think the end goal is to create content full-time through avenues such as writing, streaming, and podcasting, although I’d love to do some text-based coverage for future MagicFests/Mythic Championships for Channel Fireball at some point.

That would be awesome. So how do you think Magic the Gathering has changed over the years?

I’ve only been in the game since 2014, so I haven’t seen as much as most, but I think it’s going in a positive direction overall. Magic is going through some weird growing pains with the release of Arena, but I am excited to see what is in store. As long as Modern continues to exist, I’ll be happy!

Do you think Magic has had an impact on you as a person? If so, how has it?

Magic has impacted my life in every single way. I’ve obtained my previous and current jobs through Magic, I’ve met friends from across the globe as well as my current partner due to Magic. Magic would still impact my life if I was to walk away from the game, which I don’t think will happen either way! Magic has been nothing but a positive impact on my life and I feel fortunate to experience this brilliant game with so many people.

If you could be head of Wizards of the Coast for a day, what would you change about the game?

Unban Eye of Ugin in Modern, even if only for a day ;).

Eye of Ugin

Ok, last question. Who do you look up to the most in the Magic community?

I’m all for positivity in the community. Magic, as a community, is very quick to draw negatives from most things, so it’s refreshing to see personalities who choose to be positive regardless. One of those personalities is Reid Duke. Reid is very good at looking at the positives in every situation, and I think we can all learn from that. I strive to be positive-minded as it’s not only good for my mental health, but is also good for the community. Being a content creator makes you a point of influence to an extent, meaning it’s important we act in a positive way as it allows the community to become more positive as a result.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today Emma. If you want to read some of Emma’s content for yourself you can find it over at Hipsters of the Coast, where she puts up regular articles every other Thursday. If you have enjoyed this little insight into the world of Magic content creation, then make sure you don’t miss our next episode by subscribing to us here at Master of Magics. Until next time though, remember – when you play Magic, good luck and have fun!

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